FSA Tip #19 Refer to things with INDEX MATCH

A good spreadsheet should play well with other spreadsheets.

That means if you enter something into one spreadsheet, then you can easily refer to another spreadsheet that has additional information about that same something.

Here’s an example …

Say you are setting up a schedule for all the crops you are going to direct seed.

Each row in your schedule lists a crop and a specific seeding date.

Because crops like arugula or carrots are seeded multiple times over the season, they will be listed multiple times in this schedule.

Each time they are listed you also want to see the seeder settings for that crop.

Now you could type that seeding rate in each row.

Or you could copy paste that information over and over.

Or you could use INDEX MATCH!

I think you should go with INDEX MATCH.

In this tip, we’ll see …

  • How to use the INDEX formula to look up whole ranges in another spreadsheet.
  • How to use the MATCH formula to find the location of a specific item within a list.
  • How to bring INDEX and MATCH together to harness the full power of INDEX MATCH!!!
  • How to use INDEX MATCH to refer to other information about an item in a different spreadsheet.
  • How to set up your direct seeding schedule to refer to seeder settings from another chart.

You can get the spreadsheet from this tip to follow along at home.

What do you want to look up in your spreadsheets?

2 thoughts on “FSA Tip #19 Refer to things with INDEX MATCH

  1. enjoying the farmer’s spreadsheet academy so far…i’ve been using spreadsheets for several years, but never got really into formulas that link multiple sheets and data. tried to relearn how to build a database, but then thought, “spreadsheets are so much easier”.

    the thing I struggle with so much is keeping up with the data collection and getting my planting dates right. this year, I started strong, but then lost the mission because I didn’t have a good way to record my harvests. I’m also juggling way to many crops as I attempt to learn, but that will change next year because it is clear it’s backfiring! LOL

    anyway, i’m going through all of your tutorials one by one as I build my new improved spreadsheet system. I currently use numbers so am hesitant to jump over to google drive (for the sole reason that I think it’s not as pretty of an interface…I know, silly thing to think about). I did use google drive to manage data when I owned a bakery so I guess I just have to bite the bullet because many of the formulas you talk about just aren’t available in numbers and it doesn’t make sense to try to come up with a workaround, especially since I remind myself that simplification is my most important goal.

    I am excited for this progress on my farm, albeit stressful as I”m trying to seed my fall crops and get my cover crops scheduled in time for our first frost.

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